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Health Minister Christian Dubé said today Quebecers will be able to have private gatherings of up to 20 people starting Dec. 23 as he announced the province will expand access to third doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Private gatherings in the province are currently limited to 10 people, and Dubé told reporters in Quebec City the easing of the restriction will only apply to people who are vaccinated against COVID-19.

He also announced the province would expand access to third doses of COVID-19 vaccines to health-care workers, people with chronic illnesses, pregnant women and people in their 60s.

People with chronic illnesses that may put them at risk of complications from COVID-19, health-care workers and pregnant women will be able to book appointments for a third dose immediately.

Dubé says those aged 60 through 69 will have to wait to get their third dose until the beginning of January because the province doesn’t have enough people to give the shots.

On Friday, the federal government’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization said it strongly recommends booster shots be given to people 50 and over and that those 18 to 49 could also receive them.

Quebec currently offers third doses of COVID-19 vaccines to people 70 and over, to certain people with weakened immune systems and to those who received two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Quebec is reporting 1,234 new cases of COVID-19 today and five additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

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